Hillyer Ties Career High In (RV) Colorado State Win Over UC Davis

  0 Katie Stadick | November 25th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, Mountain West, News


Fort Collins, Colorado – Even though the Colorado State Rams secured their Mountain West Conference championship title and 2017 NCAA tournament bid last weekend. They decided to celebrate Saturday afternoon after defeating non-conference opponent, the UC Davis Aggies. With 16 total blocks in the 4-set victory, the Rams held the Aggies to a .146 hitting, while the Rams hit .327. 

The Rams were led by senior outside hitter Jasmine Hanna, who tallied 14 kills with .464 hitting. Sophomore middle blocker Kirstie Hillyer added 11 blocks – tying her career-high, while sophomore setter Katie Oleksak paced the offense with 44 assists.

For the Aggies, freshman outside hitter Mahalia White notched 20 kills and 7 digs, while junior middle blocker Lauren Jackson contributed 8 kills with a .438 hitting.

The Rams controlled sets one and two, with the first ending 25-18 on a Hillyer kill. In the second set, the Rams hit .421, holding the Aggies to .077 to win 25-18.

The Aggies battled in the third set to keep the score close. A kill from junior outside hitter Brianna Karsseboom sealed the third set victory for the Aggies at 29-27. After trading points in the fourth, the Rams went on a late 7-1 run led by senior outside hitter Jasmine Hanna, who posted 3 kills and 1 block in that frame. The Rams would close out the set and match with an Oleksak and Hillyer block to win 25-18.

Colorado State was ranked 33rd in the latest RPI and will learn their 2017 NCAA Tournament fate Sunday night at 7 p.m. MT when the NCAA Selection Show airs on ESPNU.


Courtesy of Colorado State Athletics:

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The No. 23 Colorado State women’s volleyball team finished its regular season Saturday afternoon, defeating UC Davis, 3-1 in Moby Arena. The Rams honored their five graduating seniors prior to the match: Sanja Cizmic, Alexandra Poletto, Mariah Green, Jasmine Hanna and McKenna Thornlow. The team also celebrated its 14th Mountain West Conference Championship following the match. The Rams have won the regular season championship eight out of the last nine seasons.

Jasmine Hanna and Paulina Hougaard-Jensen paced the Rams offense, both notching double-digit kills while the team hit a .327 hitting percentage. Colorado State also edged the Aggies at the net, recording 16 blocks to the Aggies five. Katie Oleksak led the Rams with 44 assists, while also recording six digs and five blocks. Kirstie Hillyer added to the defense with 11 stuffs – tying her career high. Amanda Young tallied 18 digs in the finale, while Olivia Nicholson dropped in three aces.

Colorado State settled into the first set after taking a 7-4 lead on a kill from Sanja Cizmic, which got the Rams into a rhythm. CSU traded points with UC Davis before catching a three-point swing on two hitting errors and a kill from Katie Oleksak. The Rams led 21-12 before closing the first frame, 25-18.

The Rams continued to control the flow of the second set, using three runs of three-or-more points to get a lead before taking the set 25-18. The team got a huge push from a four-point rally that built the lead from a 12-9 to 15-9. Colorado State’s defense in the second set only allowed the Aggies to hit .077 on a total of 26 attacks.

The third set was close as neither team led more than four points the whole frame as there was 18 tie scores and nine lead changes. CSU led 14-10 in the middle of the set, but the Aggies tied the match four points later and both teams would battle down the stretch. UC Davis had the upper hand late and did not surrender the lead after gaining it at 15-14. Both teams traded points late, but the Aggies stole the set after a CSU attack error and a kill gave them the set 29-27.

Colorado State controlled the fourth set by forcing the Aggies into double-digit errors and with the help of 10 kills. The fourth set had five ties and there was only one lead change when CSU registered a much-needed four-point swing trailing 11-10. CSU won the final set and match, 25-18.


Head Coach Tom Hilbert’s Opening Statement…

“We competed well in parts of set three where we were having a side-out with them to get up to 27 and 28 points. We stopped blocking and then we turned around and blocked extremely well in the fourth set. That was certainly the difference and frustrated UC Davis. I like the way the team served virtually the entire day. I thought our service-receive was on and off. They started short serving us, but we handled that fine. The big thing was us not being able to block their right side attack.”

Coach Hilbert on if he was surprised by the Rams ability to block more efficiently as the match went on…

“I think it was technical more than anything else. They did a good job of covering the high stuff and we needed to stuff more balls and keep them in the court. They were challenging our block a lot and it was just a matter of getting penetration to where the balls would stay in the court and go down quickly.”

Sanja Cizmic on how she was able to stayed prepared for the match after an emotional pre-game ceremony…

“Once the match started, I was able to get settled. I had to realize that we still had a match to play so I needed to remain calm and get back into it.”

Sanja Cizmic on what it meant for her to have her mother here all the way from Croatia…

“It meant a lot. Last time she was here was during my freshman year, and it was only for 5-6 days. It was awesome to have her here and to see me play in two games. I love her and loved her being here. I’ve really missed her.”

Sanja Cizmic on being able to have more rest between matches…

“I think the rest helped us focus on our game. We usually play two games a week and we would prepare a lot for those two teams. Having that time to prepare for the next match helped us prepare a lot more. A day off always helps keep our legs fresh as well.”

Jasmine Hanna on how it feels to finally get the Mountain West trophy…

“I think the wait made it a little sweeter. We have been missing it for a year and a half now, so it’s great to have it back with us.”

Jasmine Hanna on how playing UC Davis helped prepare the Rams for the post-season…

“I think UC Davis not being from the Mountain West helped us because we were playing a team we have not seen before. We get so used to playing Mountain West teams, so it was good to see somebody new.”


The Colorado State women’s volleyball team will find out its postseason fate tomorrow night during the NCAA Selection Show which will air on ESPNU at 7 p.m. MT. A watch party at The Mayor of Old Town will begin at 6 p.m.


Courtesy of UC Davis Athletics:

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Freshman pin hitter Mahalia White recorded 20 kills while junior middle blocker Lauren Jackson added .438 hitting and three blocks, but UC Davis could not escape a 2-0 match deficit in falling to 23rd-ranked Colorado State by scores of 25-18, 25-18, 27-29, 25-18 in non-conference women’s volleyball action at Moby Arena Saturday afternoon.

The Aggies close out the regular season with a 16-14 overall record. The Rams, champions of the Mountain West Conference, improve to 28-3 for the year.

Jackson had eight kills with just one error for the match. White was the only UC Davis player with double-digit offense, although junior outside hitter Emily Allen narrowly missed a double-double with her nine kills and team-leading 14 digs. Junior Brianna Karsseboom chipped in another seven kills on 16 swings for the Aggies.

Senior Jasmine Hanna led CSU with 14 kills and a .464 average while sophomore middle blocker Kirstie Hillyer totaled 11 blocks at the net. Another sophomore middle, Pauline Hougaard-Jensen, added an 11-1-18 offensive chart to help the Rams compile a .327 team average in the match.
Colorado State led wire-to-wire in its first-set victory, while Hanna scored seven kills in the second set to led her team to another seven-point win. White was a bright spot for UC Davis in the second set with her five kills, but then exploded for eight in the Aggies’ third-set win. She put down two during the early going, then served up an ace to provide UC Davis with a 6-5 lead. A kill and a block assist from Breana Runnels sparked a 6-0 run that restored the CSU lead to 13-9, only to follow with Allen knocking down a pair of kills in a 6-0 run that resulted in a 16-14 Aggie advantage.

The two teams locked up in 10 ties after that point. The Rams held a 27-26 match point and stood on the verge of a sweep before UC Davis scored three straight to finish out. Jackson and Karsseboom each scored kills in that final flourish.

The Aggies continued their run to six straight points in opening with a 3-0 lead into the fourth, and led at 11-9 on freshman setter Paloma Bowman’s service ace. However, Colorado State regrouped to a run of four unanswered, including three straight blocks by Hillyer and setter Katie Oleksak. UC Davis managed to tie the frame at 15-15 but could not regain the lead. Hanna posted three kills and a block in a 7-1 CSU finish to the match.

UC Davis held a slight edge in both kills (54-51) and digs (46-44), but CSU’s 16 team blocks contributed toward the 34 Aggie attacking errors and a .146 UC Davis hitting average. In fact, the Rams led the MWC in hitting (.319), opponent hitting (.173) and blocks (2.85 per set).

The Aggies finished fourth in the final Big West Conference standings with an 8-8 record, just ahead of the three-way tie for fifth place between UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State and CSUN.

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